Baker, Howard H., Jr., Byrd, Robert C., Campaign finance reform, Clinton, William J., Desegregation, Majority Leader, Persian Gulf War, U.S. Senate culture, U.S. Senators
Dale L. Bumpers was born on August 12, 1925, in Charleston, Arkansas. He attended the University of Arkansas, and during World War II he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. After being discharged, he attended Northwestern University Law School in Evanston, Illinois, where he received his law degree in 1951. He then returned to Charleston, Arkansas, where he began practicing law the following year. He ran for the state House in 1962 but lost. In 1970, he made a successful run for governor of Arkansas. He was elected to the U.S. States Senate in 1974, where he served until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure in the Senate, he never voted in favor of a constitutional amendment. He is married to Betty Flanagan Bumpers, who has spearheaded efforts to immunize children through the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center.
Interview includes discussions of: coming into the Senate in the class of ’74; how George Mitchell rose to be majority leader: 1988 majority leader race; the role of money in politics and campaign finance reform; comparing leadership styles of Senators Byrd and Mitchell; Howard Baker as majority leader; Women Against Nuclear War / Peace Links and Betty Bumpers’ role in the organization, and the amendment Bumpers proposed to declare a national Peace Day; Robert Dole as majority leader; Tom Daschle as majority leader and as Mitchell’s protégé; George Mitchell’s inner circle; the evolution of partisanship in the Senate; the invasion of Iraq in 1991; the idea of constitutional amendments and Bumpers’s stance against them; the effects of living through the Depression and World War II on Bumpers’s generation; Mitchell’s decision to leave the Senate; Bumpers’s defense of Bill Clinton during the impeachment hearing; Bumpers’s presidential ambitions and choosing not to run in 1984; and the Bumpers’ involvement in desegregating the school in Charleston, Arkansas.
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